Waikato University teams with eDrive for safer driving

The University of Waikato and eDrive Solutions, a company that develops online training to improve driver safety, have formed a partnership that they say will increase opportunities for safer driving in New Zealand and Australia.

In a statement the University said: “The purpose of the strategic partnership is for the parties to collaborate, identify, develop and realise mutually beneficial research and commercial opportunities,” but gave no other details of how it intends to work with eDrive.

However the two organisations are already closely connected. The University of Waikato took equity in eDrive Solutions in March this year and the head of research at eDrive solutions is associate professor Robert Isler, director of the Traffic and Road Safety (TARS) research group at the University.

According to the university he has spent more than 30 years researching and sharing ways to safely train drivers in crucial high-level skills such as visual search, situation awareness, hazard anticipation and risk management and for more than 10 years the team at Fleetcoach, an arm of eDrive, has been using this research to educate and coach drivers to be safer road users.

The University says Isler’s research has shown that video-based simulations are an effective way to train high-level driving skills. “Skills learned through video simulations directly lead to safer attitudes in driver behaviour, and are transferable to real-world driving situations.”

It says eDrive and Fleetcoach are interactive online driver training programmes scientifically proven to reduce crash risk. eDrive is designed for learner drivers, and Fleetcoach is specifically for organisations that employ drivers.

Fleetcoach offers general training and specific skills modules. Its web site says the first of these specific skills modules will be offered soon in Australia.

Fleetcoach COO Craig Cockerton said the partnership with the University would strengthen the research capabilities of eDrive Solutions enabling it to enhance its product offerings

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